All posts tagged iPad

  • iPad Photoshoot

    Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. A restless mind… or maybe too much late night pizza has you laying awake in bed. You decide that if you can’t sleep you might as well do something productive, so you fumble in the darkness for your iPad for one more round of Angry Birds. You power up and are instantly struck blind by a beam of light so bright that it burns “slide to unlock” into your retinas. You squint, roaches scatter, wife stirs, “Damn, that’s bright.”

    Sound familiar? This happens to me too often. Eventually, it dawned on me that, given the right context, the iPad screen is actually pretty bright. I know that for a fact because I measured it with my light meter (1/60, f1.4 at ISO800 from about 1.5 feet). You know once the light meter has come out of the bag, there’s no going back. Naturally, we needed to do a photoshoot using iPads as the light source.

    Luckily, I have friends who are very generous with their time and electronics and was able to scrounge up nine iPads. I mounted them onto plywood using some cheap hardware store brackets. This gave me three lights consisting of three iPads each. The light from an iPad is quite soft and diffuse. This makes the light fall-off steep. Adding more iPads didn’t translate to more brightness, but did mean we could light a larger area. Since the ‘Pads would need to be used somewhat close to the subject to get enough exposure, a simple, portrait style shoot seemed like the best option.

    Now before the haters start commenting let me first agree with you, yes, this is totally impractical (sidenote: most of my best ideas are often also my worst ideas). Nine iPads will set you back around $4,500. That amount of money can buy you a LOT of lumens in the form of a generic monobloc. This is not intended to be an exercise in excess, but rather a self-imposed limitation to help flex the creative muscles, and to make a point.

    Think about it. One 60 watt bulb can put out more light that a truckload of iPads. And you don’t have to spend truckloads of cash to find a 60 watt. This whole making art thing is all about what you do with what you have. We just happened to have a bunch of iPads laying around so we went with that. Today’s dSLR sensors are sensitive enough that you could easily do this with some flashlights, headlights, headlamps, real lamps, or even – heaven forbid – real strobes! Now go forth and do!

    Model – Miranda Hull
    Make up – Michelle Gallagher
    Hair – Joanna Montemayor
    iPad Propagator – Josh Markle
    iPad Wranglers – Derek Sine, Corey Jindra
    Videographer – Tyler Faires
    Miracle Worker – Lyn Rosten

  • Wireless DSLR Tethering to iPad

    I love shooting tethered. Viewing my photos on a large screen *while* shooting makes critical evaluations of exposure, focus, and composition much easier. Clients love it, too. They get a confidence boost from being able to see the photos as they’re taken. On commercial shoots, tethering is a must. You can’t have the client, art director, and make up artist all crowding around a tiny 3″ screen on the back of the camera.

    As much as I love shooting tethered, sometimes it’s just not practical to lug a computer around, especially on remote location shoots. More gear means more crew. And more crew means bigger budgets (something that’s sadly lacking in the industry these days). On a run-n-gun shoot, even tethering to a laptop is awkward at best. Imagine doing a “walk a-about” photo shoot where you are tied to an assistant with a 10 foot rope. That’s ONLY convenient if one of you happens to fall into a crevasse.

    Here’s a better solution. Wireless tethering to an iPad. No wires, no worries; portable and practical.

    OK, onto the technical milieu. There are a few variations on the following workflow, but for the sake of simplicity, I’m just going to share what I’m using to go from my Canon 5D MkII to the iPad.

    176211First thing you need is a little app called ShutterSnitch. It’s $8 and available in the app store. ShutterSnitch creates a landing point for the photos that are getting sent from the camera. There are some other great features built into the app, but rather than write about them you can read about them here.

    EyeFiThere are a couple ways to get the photos out of your Canon dSLR wirelessly. Canon makes several WFT (as in, Wireless File Transmitter) devices for their various flavors of dSLRs. But, one look at the price and you might want to rearrange that acronym to WTF (as in, WTF!?). The cheaper option, and the one I’m using, is a wifi card from Eye-Fi. Eye-Fi makes SD cards that have a microscopic wifi antenna hidden inside. These cards can connect directly with ShutterSnitch. But there’s a caveat with Eye-Fi cards and the 5DMkII. The camera won’t recognize the newer X2 version so you’ll need one of the older classic pro models.

    CFMultiNow, at this point you’re probably thinking,”WTF! How am I supposed to use an SD card in a CF-only camera like a 5DMkII?” Gotchya covered there, too. You simply need an SD to CF card adapter. Yeah, I didn’t know those existed either. Eye-Fi does not officially support CF adapters for their cards, but I found one that works well with my MkII. The CF multi from Syncrotech. Some adapters will cut the wifi signal strength so be sure to find one that has been tested for use with Eye-Fi cards. The CFMulti seems to have no effect on the Eye-Fi’s ability to transmit. So far I’ve used it successfully up to about 25 feet with no file errors.

    photoTo make all of these photo transfers work, both the card and the iPad have to be connected to the same wireless network. Not a big deal if you’re shooting in a studio or any place there’s power. But if you’re on location you’re going to need a way to create an ad hoc wireless network. I cannot officially condone jailbreaking your iPad (nor does Apple), but it will allow you to install an app called MyWi. Yes, MyWi is the same app that people are using on their iPhones to share their 3G connectivity with other devices. Running the app on the iPad will create a network for the Eye-Fi to use for transferring photos. The great thing about this solution is that you’re carrying your network with you. Which means wireless tethering will work even if you’re deep in the jungle or on top of a mountain.

    Just to recap, here’s what you need:
    1. Older model Eye-Fi card
    2. Synchrotech CFMulti adapter
    3. MyWi app
    4. ShutterSnitch app

    One last tip on setting up the camera. Be sure to set your camera to shoot RAW+JPEG (small works best). The RAW files stay on the card, the JPEGS get transfered to the iPad for reviewing.

    Big props to Matt Jeppsen of FreshDV for turning me on to this idea. We shared a few tweets back and forth on the workflow and Matt pointed me in the right direction. Check out for tasty snippets of video industry news.

  • iPad + Velcro

    Two of mankind’s greatest inventions, together at last. Note: this is an exploration of what is possible, not necessarily what is practical. Tweet from the street at your own risk!
    iPad Version Here

  • iPad Shopping

    I wish I could say I was writing this post on an iPad. Alas, the Apple Fairy has yet to bequeath unto me the “ultimate mobile multimedia device” (Job’s words, not mine). But instead of sitting around pining over my iPadlessness, I’ve decided to mock up another iPad “experience.” I’m not going to say much about this one since it’s pretty self explanatory. Combine the convenience of shopping online with the familiartiy of a print layout. Sprinkle in a dash of novelty in the form of “living portraits” and wrap the whole thing up in a sleek, hand held device. I think this could be an interesting way to shop.

    The footage for this demo came from a stock footage fashion shoot we did a couple weeks ago. Here’s a little bit of randomness from the day:

    And just because the ladies did such a great job, here’s a few more clips of them posing.